HC Deb 14 February 1983 vol 37 c14
17. Mr. Eggar

asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he will make a statement on Professor Littlechild's report on British Telecom.

Mr. Kenneth Baker

have nothing to add to the statement that I made last Monday, which has received a wide welcome.

Mr. Eggar

Is my hon. Friend aware that the report is particularly welcome for the clear and concise way in which it sets out the options? However, is there not a danger that the RPI minus x formula, which in many ways is the key recommendation of the report, assumes that BT at present has an appropriate level of efficiency and, what is more, that there will not be significant cost reductions in equipment? Should there not be reserve powers for either the Director General or the MMC to look into the cost structure of BT if necessary?

Mr. Baker

As I am sure my hon. Friend appreciates, this is a most complicated matter, on which we have already spent 25 hours of debate in Committee. I assure him that there will be opportunities for the Director General of OFTEL to examine the cost structure of certain of the charges of BT.